At the 2018 Ryder Cup, you'll notice the European Ryder Cup team, including captain Thomas Bjorn, is wearing a yellow ribbon on their hats and shirts at Le Golf National. They're doing so in honor of Celia Barquin Arozamena, the 22-year-old Spanish golfer who was murdered on a golf course near Iowa State University, where she was finishing her degree after wrapping up a four-year career as the school's greatest female golfer.
Barquin Arozamena was found murdered Sept. 17 at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, Iowa, the victim of a randomized assault while playing alone. Ames police charged 22-year-old Colin Daniel Richards with her murder, and he's being held without bond.
"The golfing family extends way beyond what we are trying to do this week," said European captain Thomas Bjorn. "Those events in America with Celia being killed playing golf is something that's hit everybody in the golf family, and obviously our two Spanish players very much. And we felt like that after a conversation from Ryder Cup Europe with Celia's mother, that we would honur her this week.
"That's what we are doing, and it's nothing about us, but it's just more about that the golfing family gets touched by these things all over the world. It's terrible when things like this happen."
Barquin Arozamena maintained a picture of her younger self kissing her fellow Spaniard, Sergio Garcia, as one of her most precious possessions. Garcia and Jon Rahm represent Spain on this Ryder Cup team, and the country has been pivotal to European success since the Ryder Cup expanded to include continental Europe in 1979.
The yellow ribbons, which have the European Union flag and "Celia" printed on them, will be available for all Ryder Cup players, including the American team. The players' wives, girlfriends and guests will wear the ribbons during the Thursday opening ceremony.
While Garcia and Rahm were not available for media interviews on Tuesday, Bjorn relayed their experiences with Barquin Arozamena and the inspiration for the ribbons.
"Such a great prospect for the game of golf she was, but also a wonderful person," Bjorn said. "And when you speak to Sergio and Jon about it, they couldn't talk highly enough about her. We felt like that was appropriate for the week.